Pros and cons of overclocking

Overclocking is often seen as a great way to get extra performance out of your computer. While it can help increase your frames per second in games or complete tasks faster, it does also bring a few negatives such as additional heat. Today we will be looking at the pros and cons of overclocking.

There are several advantages to overclocking hardware components. The main advantage to overclocking is to gain extra performance though many will also learn more about their system.

Performance

When you overclock, you increase the performance of that component. For example, if you overclock your CPU clock speed from 3.4GHz to 3.8GHz the CPU will be faster, resulting in it being able to complete tasks quicker. By many, overclocking can be seen as a free performance boost from your components as you use what you have already (proving your current hardware is capable of being overclocked, such as a unlocked CPU and overclocking ready motherboard). If you find your computer struggling to play the latest games smoothly, it can be beneficial to overclock to help increase your frames per second. Gamers commonly overclock their graphics card, though many choose to overclock the CPU as well for an extra boost in performance.

Experience

Overclocking can be a great way to learn more about modern computer hardware. For example, f you want to overclock your CPU you would be using the motherboard BIOs which contain plenty of options for tweaking your computer. By overclocking, you will learn many of the features of the BIOs such as the CPU multiplier, voltage control options and more. Overclocking will make you more comfortable in the BIOs which means you can be confident if you ever need to use it again.

While overclocking can boost your performance and gain you experience in computer hardware, many people also find it entertaining. When overclocking you can use a wide range of options to tweak your computer for the best performance which can become entertaining. Overclocking also offers many problem solving issues which can be both challenging and rewarding to solve. For example, if your computer crashes after you overclock, you need to decide what caused it, was the CPU clock set too high or was your voltage too low?

Overclocking does have several advantages though it also has some negatives to. It’s important to be aware of both the advantages and disadvantages before overclocking your hardware components such as the CPU or GPU.

Time

Overclocking consumes a lot of time. While changing settings in the BIOs usually only take a few minutes for experienced users, overclockers often use software designed to stress test their computers for several hours to ensure stability. If the computer fails the stress test, you will need to boot back into the BIOs and change more options and rerun the stress test for a few more hours.

Cost

While overclocking does not directly cost money, you may need to invest into other hardware to be able to overclock. Two examples include a better heatsink to handle additional heat and an overclocking ready motherboard which is capable of running at overclocked speeds. Not everyone will already have everything they need to start overclocking which may mean you need to go purchase some new hardware components.

Stability

Stability is very important to all computer systems after all, no one wants their computer to crash half way through their work. Overclocking increases the chance of stability issues as you are running outside of the hardware manufacturers specifications. If an overclock is done correctly and has been stress tested, the chances of a stability issue is slim.

Warranty

Overclocking is not supported by most hardware manufacturers so if, in the unlikely circumstance, that your component is damaged the hardware manufacturer might not offer an replacement.

Difficulty

While overclocking is not that difficult to a tech savvy experienced user, it can be a little daunting to first time overclockers. The options and phrases that are used in overclocking can seem confusing though there are many guides and videos on the Internet explaining the process of overclocking.

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